The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/01/04


(1) Kaltenbrunner was fully cognizant of conditions in
concentration camps and of the fact that concentration camps
were used for slave labor and mass murder. Mauthausen
concentration camp was established in Austria while
Kaltenbrunner was the Higher SS and Police Leader for
Austria, and was frequently visited by Kaltenbrunner before
he was appointed Chief of the Security Police and SD (L-51).
On the occasion of one such visit

                                                  [Page 580]
in 1942, Kaltenbrunner personally observed the gas chamber
in operation (2753-PS). After he became Chief of the
Security Police and SD, Kaltenbrunner visited Mauthausen
concentration camp but with less frequency (L-51). On one
occasion he made an inspection of the camp grounds with
Himmler and had his photograph taken during the course of
the inspection (2641-PS). After a visit to Mauthausen in
1944 Kaltenbrunner reported to his Amt Chiefs with pride
that he had helped to build up Mauthausen when he was Higher
SS and Police Leader in Austria and that the camp was
engaged in valuable armament work (2990-PS). Mauthausen
concentration camp was classified by Heydrich in January
1941 in category III, a camp for the most heavily accused
prisoners and for asocial prisoners who were considered
incapable of being reformed (1063-A-PS).

There were frequent conferences between the RSHA and
executives of the SS Wirtshaft and Verwaltungshauptamt who
had charge of the internal administration of concentration
camps. The affidavit of Rudolf Mildner states with respect
to these conferences:

     "SS Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Kaltenbrunner attended
     personally conferences with SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl,
     Chief of the SS Wirtschaft and Verwaltungshauptamt and
     Chief of the concentration camps. Due to these
     conferences and through talks with the Chief of Office
     Gruppenfuehrer Mueller of Amt IV and Gruppenfuehrer
     Nebe of Amt V, the Chief of the Security Police and SD,
     SS Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Kaltenbrunner, must have
     known the state of affairs in the concentration camps."

(2) With full knowledge of conditions in and the purpose of
concentration camps, Kaltenbrunner ordered or permitted to
be ordered in his name the commitment of persons to
concentration camps. All orders for protective custody other
than short-term confinements were issued in the name of
Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Security Police and SD and
bore the facsimile stamp of his signature (2477-PS).

The commandant of Buchenwald concentration camp in his

     "With the exception of the mass delivery of prisoners
     from the concentration camps of occupied territories,
     all prisoners were sent to the concentration camp
     Buchenwald on orders of the Reichssicherheitschauptamt,
     Berlin. These preventive arrest orders (red blanks)
     were in most cases signed with
                                                  [Page 581]
     the name Kaltenbrunner. The few other preventive arrest
     orders were signed with 'Foerster."'

On 7 July 1943 an order for protective custody was issued by
the Gestapo (Amt IV C 2, RSHA) bearing the facsimile
signature of Kaltenbrunner, to be sent in the form of a
telegram to the Gestapo office in Koeslin in the case of a
woman whose offense was stated to be failure to work, work
sabotage, and asocial conduct. She was ordered to be
confined in the concentration camp at Ravensbrueck (2745-

On 19 January  1944 a warrant for protective custody was
issued by the Gestapo (Amt IV C 2 of the RSHA) certified as
signed by Kaltenbrunner, to a British subject, C. S. James,
on the grounds that he had been proven guilty of activities
to the detriment of the German Reich, and that there was
reason to expect that he would, if released, commit acts
prejudicial to the Reich (1574-PS).

Other instances of commitments to various concentration
camps on orders, signed by Kaltenbrunner, are contained in
the dossiers of 25 Luxembourgers committed to concentration
camps by the Einsatzkommando of the Sipo and SD in
Luxembourg during the year 1944. The concentration camps to
which the persons were committed included Dachau,
Natzweiler, Sachsenhausen, and Buchenwald. Among the grounds
were: "strongly suspected of working to the detriment of the
Reich; " "spiteful statements inimical to Germany as well as
aspersions and threats against persons active in the
National Socialist movement;" "strongly suspected of aiding
desertion;" "as relative of a deserter expected to take
advantage of every occasion to harm the German Reich." (L-

Further orders for commitments to concentration camps are
contained in file of 42 telegrams, all issued by the RSHA,
Amt IV A 6, Prague, to the Gestapo Office at Darmstadt, and
all signed by Kaltenbrunner, during the period from 20
September 1944 to 2 February 1945. The concentration camps
to which people were sent included Sachsenhausen,
Ravensbrueck, Buchenwald, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen,
Flossenburg, and Theresienstadt. Nationalities included
Czech, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Corsican, Lithuanian,
Greek, and Jew. Grounds included "refusal to work;"
"religious propaganda;" "sex relations with PWs;" "communist
statements;" "loafing on job;" "working against the Reich;"
"spreading of rumors detrimental to morale;" "Aktion
Gitter;" "breach of work contracts;" "statements

                                                  [Page 582]
against Germany;" "assault of foreman;" "defeatist
statements;" "theft and escape from jail". (2239-PS).

(3) Kaltenbrunner authorized executions in concentration
camps. Adolf Zutter, the adjutant of Mauthausen
concentration camp, avers that, until the assassination of
Heydrich, orders for executions at Mauthausen were signed by
Heydrich or his substitute, and that after Kaltenbrunner
became Chief of the Security Police and SD they were signed
either by Kaltenbrunner or by his substitute, Mueller.
Zutter mentions a specific instance in which Kaltenbrunner
ordered the execution of a group of 12 to 15 uniformed
members of an American military mission (L-51).

(4) Kaltenbrunner had knowledge of the commitment of
thousands of Warsaw Poles to concentration camps and refused
to release them. During the suppression of the Warsaw
uprising of 1944, about 50,000 to 60,000 inhabitants of
Warsaw were sent to concentration camps. As a result of
entreaties by Hans Frank to Himmler the deportation was
stopped. Frank and Buehler, his State Secretary, requested
Kaltenbrunner to release the persons who had been committed.
Kaltenbrunner refused to release them on the grounds they
were employed in making secret weapons for the Reich and
declared that the number transported into concentration
camps in the Reich was small. Buehler verified the fact that
the number of persons so placed in concentration camps for
forced labor was 50,000 to 69,999 (2476-PS) .

(5) Kaltenbrunner controlled the deportation of Poles, Jews,
and other non-Germans from Poland. Otto Hofmann, former
Chief of the SS Main Office for Race and Settlement Matters,

     "The execution of all so-called resettlement actions,
     that is, the sending away of Polish, Jewish, and people
     of non-German blood, inhabitants of a territory in
     Poland destined for Germanization was in the hands of
     the Chief of the RSHA, Heydrich, and, since the end of
     1942, Kaltenbrunner." (L-49)

(6) Kaltenbrunner ordered the deportation of Jews from Der
mark. In, September 1943 Himmler ordered the Danish Jews
arrested and shipped to Stettin and from there to
Theresienstadt concentration camp. Mildner, the Chief of the
Sipo and SD, telegraphed the RSHA to request that the Jewish
persecutions be

                                                  [Page 583]
stopped. In reply he received an order from Himmler through
Kaltenbrunner to carry out the anti-Jewish action. Shortly
thereafter Mildner flew to Berlin to speak to Kaltenbrunner
personally about the matter. In Kaltenbrunner's absence he
spoke to Mueller. After his return to Copenhagen, Mildner
received a direct order from Himmler through Kaltenbrunner
to carry out the anti-Jewish actions immediately (2375-PS).

(7) Kaltenbrunner personally exercised punitive authority
over foreign workers. By order of Kaltenbrunner Labor
Reformatory Camps were established under the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Security Police (106-B-PS).

In addition to sending workers to Labor Reformatory Camps,
Kaltenbrunner, through orders for protective custody signed
by him or by facsimile of his signature, committed workers
to concentration camps. On 9 February 1945 a French citizen
was sent to Buchenwald by order of Kaltenbrunner for
shirking work and insubordinate behavior. On 18 June 1943 a
Pole was sent to Natzweiler "to be used as a skilled worker"
by order of Kaltenbrunner. On 2 December 1944 a citizen of
the Netherlands was taken into protective custody "for work
sabotage" by order of Kaltenbrunner. On 2 December 1944 a
French citizen was taken into protective custody for "work
sabotage and insubmissive" (2582-PS; 2580-PS).

(8) Kaltenbrunner personally attended to matters against
Jews and political and concentration camp internees in the
Protectorate. A memorandum found among Kaltenbrunner's
personal effects states in

     "Radio message to Gruppenfuehrer Fegelein Hq. of the
     Fuehrer through Sturmbannfuehrer Sansoni, Berlin.

     "Please report to RF SS and to the Fuehrer that all
     arrangements against Jews, political and concentration
     camp internees in the Protectorate have been taken care
     of by me personally today"

(9) Kaltenbrunner personally ordered the Sipo and SD to
encourage the populace to lynch American and English flyers.
In 1944 at a conference of Amt Chiefs Kaltenbrunner said:

     "All offices of the SD and the security police are to
     be informed that pogroms of the populace against
     English and American terror-fliers were not to be
     interfered with; on the contrary, this hostile mood is
     to be fostered" (2990-PS).

                                                  [Page 584]
(10) Kaltenbrunner personally worked out the form of
justification to be submitted to cover up the execution of
prisoners of war. In connection with the shooting of some 50
recaptured prisoners of war who had escaped from a prisoner
of war camp near Breslau, Kaltenbrunner worked out with
Mueller and Nebe the false reasons which were to be given to
the Red Gross, that is, that they had been killed by bomb
attacks, or shot while escaping or resisting arrest (2990-


Kaltenbrunner was a life-long fanatical Nazi. He was the
leader of the SS in Austria prior to the Anschluss and
played a leading role in the betrayal of his native country
to the Nazi conspirators. As Higher SS and Police Leader in
Austria after the Anschluss he supervised and had knowledge
of the activities of the Gestapo and the SD in Austria. He
had much to do with developing Mauthausen concentration camp
and visited it frequently. On at least one occasion he
observed the gas chamber in action. With this knowledge and
background he accepted in January 1943 appointment as chief
of the very agencies which sent such victims to their
deaths. He held that office to the end, rising to high
prominence in the conspiracy, receiving honors from Hitler
and gaining Hitler's personal confidence.

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